If you are one of those who likes a tidy home, we have the ultimate collection of organising tips for you. Read on – this list contains all the best home organisation hacks ever, in one place for you to pick your favourites and never to miss an opportunity to declutter your home.
1. Commit yourself to tidying up – both time and effort will be needed
Tidying up requires arduous work so make sure you are up for it. You need to commit both time and effort to this so make peace with it before you even start. Make sure your kitchens are stocked for the battle ahead and you have enough food to tackle nutrition, and mental health.
2. Recognise that it will get worse before it gets better
The first few weeks will be tiring when you must break the cycle of clutter and pull the weight of the past cleaning too. A strong motivator is to visualise the space and time that a tidy house will create.
3. Start by planning
Organising a home is not a one-day exercise. Plan what rooms are you going to tackle first? What pieces get immediate attention? Rather than be shackled within the walls of the room, visualise your house holistically.
4. First, get everything out and put it in a pile
Once you have decided which cupboard or room you are targeting first, remove everything there and start with a clean slate. This helps you get a sense of the actual space you have in a room or cupboard. With stuff inside it, you will never understand the total space.
5. Remove Anything That Doesn’t Belong
This includes old clothes, shoes, books, toys, furniture, etc. If you do not know what belongs where, ask your friends or family members if they want any of it. Donate items not needed by anyone to charity.
Kate Brown, certified professional organizer and owner of Impact Organizing LLC, says that if a room still somehow looks messy after you’ve cleaned, it’s time to improve your organisational system, which, according to her, should allow you to tidy up in 15 minutes or less.
6. Only keep items that ‘spark joy’
According to the Japanese tidying specialist – Marie Kondo, if you are going to start decluttering, it is important to know what will spark joy in your life. Old books you re-read could spark joy, and hence are worth retaining but not if they are just gathering dust. If you need something only occasionally, consider putting it into a self-storage facility. Self Storage India has a handy storage calculator that can provide suggestions on things people have stored in the past and how you can stack them in a storage unit so you can retrieve them as needed.
7. Organise by categories
Once you have discarded all unnecessary items, sort through each item by colour, size, style, and condition. This will make storage easier at a later stage. It will not only save you time, but also free up space.
8. What about sentimental items
If something has sentimental value, write down where you bought it so you can remember why you bought it. This way you can store it appropriately as well. Again, consider the use of a self-storage facility.
9. Store items depending on frequency of use
Items you need regularly should be easily accessible.
Occasional use items, for example, ethnic wear you will use only during festivals, can be neatly packed, labelled and stacked in your self-storage unit. This could be the ornamental cutlery and dishes that comes out once a year during Diwali or the ski clothes for the annual European escapade. Speak to a Storage Expert to see how you can maximise a self-storage unit to declutter.
10. Clean as you go
“People whose homes always appear neat don’t wait until it seems like a bomb went off,” wrote Brittany Bergman on Huffington Post. Instead, they have routines. “This might mean rearranging throws pillows and folding blankets after they’ve been used in the family room each evening, having children put toys back in the playroom, hanging up clothes at end of each day, folding the laundry right when they come out of the dryer.”
11. Make your Bed as soon as you get up
This calls for special mention because this gets you into a frame of mind to organise and tidy from the moment you get up. This has a huge impact on how your mind declutters through the day.
12. Pick your weapons
Gather your cleaning supplies like a good quality vacuum, storage boxes, or hangers that will help you organise your clothes, books, and other things easily.
13. A place for a thing
Once you are happy with your organisation, stick to it. Get out of bad habits you may not have noticed you had of placing items in the wrong places.
14. The one-year rule
If you find something in your storage which you have not used in one year, mark it for putting away. If you still have not used it after six months, show no mercy and discard the item for good.
15. The 20/10 method
When faced with a mountain of tidying and organising (say, around Diwali), this proven method by Marie Kondo is also very helpful. It requires you to clean for 20 minutes and take a break of 10 minutes. Slowly you can increase this to 45/5 to make your process efficient.
Finally, do not forget that if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting on a particular day, treat yourself at the end of the day. A bribe can get you through most of the tidying up either yourself or by enlisting help from friends and family members willing to tidy up.